FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A judge has denied a claim that a man accused of killing and dismembering a 55-year-old man has an intellectual disability.
In a hearing in Allen Superior Court on Monday, Judge David Zent denied a petition for intellectual disability for Mathew J. Cramer II. The court appointed a forensic psychiatrist to examine Cramer last month, at a cost of $5,500 on taxpayers.
Cramer II faces charges of Murder, Abuse of a Corpse, and Resisting Law Enforcement related to the April 2021 killing of Shane V. Nguyen.
Prosecutors are seeking life without parole for Cramer.
Cramer is set to stand trial beginning Oct. 24. His next court hearing is Sept. 26.
WARNING: Details below may be disturbing.
According to the probable cause affidavit, on April 25, 2021, a Fort Wayne Police officer spotted a “suspicious vehicle” behind a building and when he went to investigate, he saw a black van driving away. The van was registered to Nguyen, who was the subject of a Silver Alert issued two days before.
Police tried to stop the van but it sped off at a high rate of the speed, the affidavit said. At one point, the driver jumped from the van and the passenger moved to the driver’s seat.
Police stopped the chase due to high speeds. The van eventually crashed into the backyard of a home off Forest Park Boulevard, off East State Boulevard. The driver ran off.
Inside the van, police found the dismembered body of Nguyen in black plastic trash bags, the affidavit said. An autopsy found Nguyen died of blunt force trauma to the head, and the Allen County Coroner’s Office ruled his death a homicide.
During a search of the van, investigators found receipts from Goshen stores that listed items including tarps, a hacksaw, hacksaw blades, a plastic tub, two shovels and a large knife, the affidavit said.
At the stores, police gathered surveillance that showed three males buying the items. A witness identified one of the men as Jacob Carreon-Hamilton, and detectives recognized another as Cramer.
Security video also showed the men driving Nguyen’s Honda Odyssey van, the affidavit said.
Detectives then found a picture of Cramer on social media that showed him at a storage facility along North Coliseum Boulevard in Fort Wayne. Detectives went there and found a blood-stained tarp with a large knife on it, along with other items, the affidavit said.
Police said they believe the men dismembered Nguyen’s body in the storage unit, the affidavit said.
Carreon-Hamilton was taken into custody on April 26. During an interview with police, he said he “did not know what happened” until he came to Fort Wayne and Cramer took him to the storage unit and saw a body, the affidavit said. Carreon-Hamilton told police he sat in the van while Cramer “did whatever he did” inside the storage unit.
Carreon-Hamilton said he did not have anything to do with Nguyen’s death and said he did not know why they were buying the items at the Goshen stores, the affidavit said.
Cramer was found in Lakeville, Indiana, on April 26 and taken to Fort Wayne Police headquarters for an interview.
Cramer told police he’d asked Nguyen for a ride from Elkhart back to Fort Wayne and that he planned to kill Nguyen before they reached Fort Wayne, the affidavit said. It is unclear why.
In Fort Wayne, Cramer said they went to his storage unit on North Coliseum Boulevard. There, Cramer said he had Nguyen turn around and he put him in a choke hold until he was unconscious. At that point, Cramer said he slammed Nguyen’s head on the pavement, the affidavit said.
Cramer said he then pulled the body into the storage unit and “completed killing” Nguyen, the affidavit said. He left his body inside the storage unit, locked it and drove back to Goshen to buy items with Carreon-Hamilton and another man.
Cramer told police that he took money from Nguyen and gave it to Carreon-Hamilton and another man to buy the items, the affidavit said. Cramer said he discussed with Carreon-Hamilton how they were going to get rid of the body, and they dropped off the other man before they returned to Fort Wayne, the affidavit said.
Cramer told police he used a knife to cut Nguyen’s body while Carreon-Hamilton held the body, the affidavit said. Carreon-Hamilton “was coaching” Cramer on “how to cut the body,” the affidavit said.
After it was dismembered, Carreon-Hamilton and Cramer loaded the body into the back of the van to dispose of it “but a police officer found them behind a building,” the affidavit said.
Carreon-Hamilton pleaded guilty in July to Assisting a Criminal, Abuse of Corpse, and Resisting Law Enforcement. He will be sentenced Nov. 4.